Arrows send United packing
Atteridgeville - A man-of-the-match performance from Collins Mbesuma saw him score the game’s only goal as Golden Arrows beat Supersport United 1-0 in their first round Telkom Knockout clash at the Lucas Moripe Stadium on Tuesday night.
The first 45 minutes was a half characterised by two different styles of play as SuperSport controlled the possession stakes, but failed to make their dominance pay as they struggled to get behind a stubborn Arrows defence and were unable to create many decent chances on goal.
Abafana Bes’thende, on the other hand, despite only having one chance in the half, one they took full advantage of, never looked like conceding because of the structured football new coach Muhsin Ertugal has them playing.
With neither side really wanting to make a mistake early on there was very little in terms of goal mouth action in the opening 20 minutes.
That, however, changed in the 21st minute when a swift passing movement from Arrows saw Siyabonga Nkosi with a great run down the right flank where he produced a good low cross into the box. Collins Mbesuma was first to react and got to the ball ahead of his marker at the front post and turned it past Ronwen Williams from only a couple yards out, 1-0.
United nearly hit back three minutes later but some great goalkeeping from Helton Da Rocha kept the KZN team in the lead.
The chance on goal came about because a slip in defence by Robyn Johannes allowed Mame Niang some space on the edge of the box, but the striker saw his powerful drive brilliantly saved by Helton Da Rocha diving low to his left.
The rest of the half saw United on the attack, but poor imagination and bad passing in the final third of the field meant they went into the half-time break trailing by a goal.
The second half was defined by the impenetrable defence of Ertugal’s men who defended like their lives depended on it.
This made for a very frustrating second half for SuperSport who mounted attack after attack, but found no way through the Abafana Bes’thende defence.
The home side's only chance of the half came in the 56th minute when a deep cross from right wing Bryce Moon found Anthony Laffor unmarked at the back post, but his header from six-yards out was a poor one and went wide of the target.
As the half progressed United seemed to tire and that afforded the visiting team the opportunity to hit on the counter-attack and Mbesuma should really have grabbed his second 13 minutes before the end of the match.
Mbesuma burst away on the counter attack, driving down the right flank before working his way into the box and shooting from just inside the 18-yard area, but his effort went narrowly over the crossbar.
In the end the miss did not count for much as the game ended 1-0 in favour of Arrows and thus handing Ertugal his first win as coach of Arrows.
For United, coach Gavin Hunt admitted Ertugal had his team well drilled and they defended well, but he was bitterly upset to see his side exit the Telkom Knockout cup.
SuperSport United (0) 0
Golden Arrows (1) 1 (Mbesuma 21’)
United: Williams; Moon, Kekana, Booysen, Langerman, Laffor, Gabonamong, Ntshumayelo (Selolwane 65’), Erasmus, Hartog (Salmon 79’), Niang (Nyanda 46’)
Arrows: Da Rocha; Zwane, Bilankulu, Johannes, Tom, Khuboni, Nene, Machuphu (Manqana 57’), Nkosi (Gabuza 81’), Shange, Mbesuma (Musonda 89’)